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Thousands celebrate Labor Day at the beach

6:23 PM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- It's the last holiday weekend before summer is over and thousands flocked to First Coast beaches for some fun in the sun.

Everyone has their favorite part of Labor Day, but so far, there's one common answer.

"The best part is not working," said Diana Perez. "That's the best part.

Perez is a first time tourist in Florida from Tennessee and says Jacksonville Beach turned out to be a great vacation destination.

"I love it, the beach, the people the sun, the city, everything," said Perez. 

Life Saving Corps lifeguards said they prepared for thousands on the beach by beefing up their men and women on the sand.

"It's one of the busiest days of the year for us so we definitely come out here prepared ready for a very busy beach day," said Lieutenant Richard Ghiotto, Life Saving Corps.

Thirty-eight lifeguards sat in towers plus there's more manpower at the lifeguard station in case of emergencies. Conditions called for a yellow flag on Labor Day, meaning mild, but nothing to worry about. Beach goers soaked up the sun, biked through the beach, and even chased dolphins.

"We were out there playing in the waves and we saw a fin come up and we decided to go chase it," said Evan Cope.  

Brandon Cope of St. Johns County and his family joined other friends for the day. Cope says it's days like Labor Day where you can appreciate time with your loved ones.

"Anytime that we can have a little bit of time off from work, you know the daily grind," said Cope.

That's exactly why Deaira Webb of Valdosta escaped to the First Coast to get a little beach time.

"Well I love Joe's Crab Shack and I know if we come right here, we can walk straight there after," said Webb.

Webb traveled with family and friends to make memories, but Tuesday it's back to work.

"I know I have to go back to tomorrow, but it's exciting to get that one day off," said Webb.

Jacksonville Beach Life Saving Corps lifeguards say they will be at the beach throughout the week. Lt. Ghiotto says there will be fewer lifeguards on the beach in the next few months, but that there are always lifeguards at the station year round in case of emergency.

First Coast News

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